The City Announces Moratorium on Evictions Related to COVID-19 Pandemic
San Francisco, CA – Today, Mayor London N. Breed announced a moratorium on residential evictions related to financial impacts caused by COVID-19. The moratorium will prevent any resident from being evicted due to a loss of income related to a business closure, loss of hours or wages, layoffs, or out-of-pocket medical costs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mayor issued this moratorium under the powers of the Local Emergency she declared on February 25th.
The eviction moratorium will be in effect for 30 days, and can be extended by the Mayor for another 30 days through an Executive Order. If the Local Emergency declared by the Mayor is rescinded at any point, the moratorium will cease to be in effect.
“Protecting public health means keeping people secure in their housing, which we know is a challenge right now as our economy and our workers are being severely impacted by this crisis,” said Mayor Breed. “This moratorium will help people stay stable if they lose income because they get sick, a family member gets sick, or their job is impacted by the economic damage the coronavirus is causing. This all part of our larger plan to provide support and resources to everyone in our city who is suffering under the spread of COVID-19.”
“It is imperative that all elected leaders do everything possible to make sure people are safe and secure in their homes and that we prevent evictions,” said Supervisor Dean Preston, a former tenant attorney. “I applaud the Mayor’s decision to take this important step to provide immediate protections for tenants who are unable to pay rent due to this health crisis. I look forward to working with the Mayor and my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors on further efforts to keep people in their homes during this difficult time.”
Under the Mayor’s order, financial impacts means a substantial loss of household income due to business closure, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, layoffs, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses.
A financial impact is “related to COVID-19” if it was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mayor’s Proclamation, the Health Officer’s Declaration of Local Health Emergency, or public health orders related to COVID-19 from local, state, or federal authorities.
Under the order, a tenant must notify their landlord that they cannot pay rent due to a COVID-19 related impact. Within one week of this notice, the tenant must provide documentation or other objective information that they cannot pay rent. Tenants will have up to six months after the termination of the emergency declaration to repay any back due rent.
San Francisco’s actions are part of a broader effort to protect tenants across the state. San José Mayor Sam Liccardo and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg are working on eviction moratoriums in their cities, and Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Phil Ting are working on legislation to halt evictions and foreclosures in California.
“We thank Mayor Breed for her leadership during this difficult time and want to do our part to support her and the broader community,” said Janan New, Executive Director, San Francisco Apartment Association. “In this time of need, let’s all reach out to our neighbors and care for one another.”
“I applaud Mayor Breed’s protection of tenants impacted by this crisis,” said Randy Shaw, Executive Director, Tenderloin Housing Clinic. “Nobody should lose their home due to the pandemic.”
“As legal services providers working on the front lines to keep vulnerable populations housed, we are especially concerned for our clients, many of whom are especially at risk in the pandemic, like seniors and persons with disabilities,” said Bill Hirsh, Executive Director of AIDS Legal Referral Panel. “We support the Mayor’s efforts to protect the health of tenants and the service providers who are working to assist them.”
“Legal Assistance to the Elderly applauds the Mayor’s actions to stop evictions in San Francisco during this public health emergency,” said Laura Chiera, Executive Director of Legal Assistance to the Elderly. “All of LAE’s clients fall into a high-risk group. We have been extremely worried for their health and safety during this time when is difficult to access resources and support. We believe that this eviction moratorium is a critical lifesaving action.”
Recommendations from the San Francisco Department of Public Health can be found at www.sfdph.org/dph/alerts/coronavirus.asp along with up-to-date on coronavirus news and information. You can also call 311 and sign up for the City’s alert service for official updates: text COVID19SF to 888-777.
Remember, these are the best ways for all San Franciscans to reduce their risk of getting sick, and preventing COVID-19:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your cough or sneeze.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Try alternatives to shaking hands, like a wave.
- If you have recently returned from a country, state or region with ongoing COVID-19 infections, monitor your health and follow the instructions of public health officials.
- There is no recommendation to wear masks at this time to prevent yourself from getting sick.
You can also prepare for the possible disruption caused by an outbreak:
- Prepare to work from home if that is possible for your job, and your employer.
- Make sure you have a supply of all essential medications for your family.
- Prepare a child care plan if you or a caregiver are sick.
- Make arrangements about how your family will manage school closures.
- Plan for how you can care for a sick family member without getting sick yourself.
- Take care of each other and check in by phone with friends, family and neighbors that are vulnerable to serious illness or death if they get COVID-19.
- Keep common spaces clean to help maintain a healthy environment for you and others. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly with disinfecting sprays, wipes or common household cleaning products.